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School of Conservation Leadership

Interested, but want to hear from our team? Register to attend one of these two live information sessions to learn more about this opportunity to bring conservation education right into your school.
Attendees can ask questions during the presentation in the chat and will also have time to share questions and thoughts at the end.  If you have schools that want more information and want to see the presentation live, please have them register to attend.

Looking For Conservation In Your Curriculum?

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is committed to inspiring a love of the outdoors and conservation in young Arkansans and is working with schools to foster responsible stewardship of natural resources in the next generation. 

Through our School of Conservation Leadership Program, AGFC is working to increase conservation education, outdoor learning and outdoor recreation opportunities for students in Arkansas and to increase awareness of conservation careers and inspire the next generation of conservation professionals. The Commission has created a designation that recognizes the public, private, charter and early childhood schools that are doing this well. If you’d like your school to be a School of Conservation Leadership, please work with your school’s administration to review the requirements below and complete the Letter of Commitment and return to if your school wants to participate.

Increasing participation in all Arkansas Game and Fish Commission programming at the campus level:

Increase conservation education, outdoor learning, and outdoor recreation opportunities for students in Arkansas

Bring awareness to the role AGFC plays in the Outreach and Commitment to Arkansans through conservation education

Increase awareness of AGFC careers through the development of the next generation of conservation professionals

Recognize schools that are doing this well, create model/mentor schools/programs within the state

Create new opportunities and continue current programming offered by Nature Center staff to support education outreach


Application: Phase 1

Fishing in the Natural State

Involvement: At least one classroom/teacher 

Teacher PD: 6 hrs provided by AGFC 

Lessons: 5 must be taught from curriculum 

Derby: 1 must be held by the school 

Conservation Project: Must be completed 

Award: fishing and sampling equipment valued around $1,800


Conservation Project 

*In addition to FINS

Involvement: At least 2 grade levels or 2 classes are involved 

Choose either Aquatic or Terrestrial 

*See examples below


Conservation Art Project

2 separate projects 

Involvement: School decision 

1 – AGFC focus 

2 – Recycling/repurpose focus


Guest Lectures from Conservation Professionals

3 experiences on your campus 

Involvement: At least 3 different classes or grade levels are involved 

* See examples below


Conservation Education Grant

Proof of application for the AGFC Conservation Education Grant 

Involvement: At least 1 application 

*You do not have to receive, but must apply during the current school year


GIS Project

1 project 

Involvement: School decision 

Create a GIS project related to outdoor recreation, conservation, or environmental science 

* See examples below


Archery in the Schools (AIS)

Involvement: Archery must be offered to students during the school day by at least 1 teacher/class 

Teacher PD: 6 hrs provided by AGFC


Teacher Professional Development

Involvement: At least 1 teacher per grade level has attended a conservation focused PD 

* Artifact included in application as evidence


Hunter Ed or Boater Ed

Must offer at least one of the following to students: 

Hunter Education (10 hrs) OR Boater Education (6 hrs) 

Involvement: School decision 

* Can be taught by certified staff or AGFC staff


Community or Industry Partners

Must work with at least one community or industry partner on a project related to conservation or outdoor recreation 

Involvement: Campus decision 

* Must go beyond the conservation project and guest lecture speakers

Nature Center or Hatchery Visit

Engage in programming offered by AGFC staff that aligns with other conservation projects 

* Must go beyond a basic tour of the center or hatchery


Stream Team

Team of students and teacher participate in citizen science data collection of water way near school location or community

  • Water quality monitoring 
  • Macroinvertebrate analysis 
  • Habitat improvements and restoration


Competitive Shooting Sports Team


  • AIS: offered 10 hours of in class instruction, each team minimum of 5 practices 
  • YSS: all team members have hunter education, participate in minimum of 5 team practices


Open enrollment for community members (public event)

Showcase of entire application process and projects involved to share with family and the community 

  • Can include a public fishing derby 
  • Can include involvement in STEM night 
  • Cannot be a fundraiser or fish fry


Outdoor Adventures Curriculum

Must teach and incorporate the actual Outdoor Adventures Curriculum provided by the AGFC

(Can be a part of, but cannot only be the Outdoor Adventures Course approved by ADE)

Examples of Conservation Project: 

  • Storm water drainage on campus 
  • Stream bank restoration 
  • Native tree planting 


Examples of GIS Project: 

  • Places to fish 
  • Pollinator habitats 
  • Wildlife observation 


Examples of Art Project: 

  • Reusing recyclable or non-recyclable materials 
  • Objects creating the AGFC logo 
  • Species in our region


Application: Phase 2

  • The application process is the actual application itself
  • Schools will upload their artifacts, evidence and rationale for each section
  • Schools will also upload any relevant artifacts such as photos, video links, news articles, etc. to help support their claim to earn the designation

Application: Phase 3

AGFC Education Leadership Staff will be on-site to view the showcase and complete final evaluations. 

  • 1-2 hours in total 
  • Could be: student presentation, panel, school tour, video showcase, project displays and presentations, or any way that your campus can showcase that you are an AGFC School of Conservation

Are you ready to earn the AGFC School of Conservation Leadership designation?

Mary Beth Hatch

AGFC Chief of Education

Phone 501-940-3083
2 Natural Resource Dr.
Little Rock, AR